The following post was originally from a facebook discussion, initiated by Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap on November 2, 2012 (Micronesia Time). We re-post it from the facebook page, Yap’s Development.
This thread is primarily directed to Mr. Gang Yang. Others can, of course, comment in this thread, but I respectfully request that Mr. Gang Yang participates in this thread’s discussion. I also ask other Group members who participate in this thread to be respectful toward Mr. Gang Yang and his responses. I ask for the same sort of respect from Mr. Gang Yang. Siro.
First of all, welcome, Mr. Gang Yang, to this group. It is important to have open and honest communication, and your presence here will hopefully aid in that effort. On a related note, I plan to refer to you as Mr. Yang in the rest of this thread. I am not too familiar with the proper way of addressing a Chinese national using the honorific of “Mr.”, so if you prefer that I call you Mr. Gang or something else, then please let me know, and I will do so. I apologize if I have caused you any offense.
Secondly, I respectfully ask you, Mr. Yang, as an official representative of ETG in Yap, to provide ETG’s official positions on a number of matters related to ETG’s proposed Project in Yap. Specifically:
1) What is ETG’s official position regarding the September 17, 2012 letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol of Yap prohibiting ETG from carrying out its proposed Project in Yap? (You can find the letter here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/404462399564440/489328037744542/)
As you may know, Mr. Yang, Article III, Section 1 of the Yap State Constitution specifically accords “[d]ue recognition . . . to the Dalip pi Nguchol and their traditional and customary roles.” As you may also be aware, Mr. Yang, one of the “traditional and customary roles” of the Dalip pi Nguchol is to step in during a time of great upheaval in Yap and issue binding edicts that dispel that upheaval and restore order to Yap. ETG’s proposed Project in Yap has clearly caused tremendous upheaval in Yap, and so the proclamation of the Dalip pi Nguchol prohibiting ETG’s proposed Project is, in my opinion, a valid effort (culturally and constitutionally speaking) to restore the peace in Yap, i.e., nge aweg e gapas u daken e nam. ETG has promised—in various promotional brochures, as well as in the signed Investment Agreement between ETG and the State of Yap—to respect Yapese customs and traditions. How does that professed respect comport with ETG’s silence regarding the letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol?
I should also note that Governor Anefal, in his October 1, 2012 letter to Chairman Deng Hong (see here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/404462399564440/498479230162756/), specifically cites the letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol commanding his Administration to stop ETG’s proposed Project as one of the reasons why the signed Investment Agreement between ETG and the State of Yap should be voided. At the very least, the State of Yap—as represented by Governor Anefal and the Anefal Administration—acknowledges the validity of the September 17, 2012 letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol. Does ETG similarly acknowledge the validity of that letter, and if so, has ETG taken steps to comply with the letter’s edict? If ETG does not acknowledge the validity of that letter, then why?
An official response from ETG to this first set of questions is respectfully requested and will be most welcome.
2) Speaking of the aforementioned letter from Governor Anefal, what is ETG’s official response to Governor Anefal’s October 1, 2012 letter to Chairman Deng Hong regarding, among other things, the voiding of the signed Investment Agreement and “any legal documents preceding it”? I understand from various comments on Facebook that ETG is still studying the letter and formulating a response. May I respectfully remind you, Mr. Yang, that it has been over a month since Governor Anefal delivered his letter to Chairman Hong. Does ETG need more time to study the letter? Has there not been enough time for ETG to at least give an initial substantive reaction to the letter? Assuming that ETG has concluded its study of Governor Anefal’s letter, does ETG believe that it still has the legal authority to pursue its proposed Project in Yap?
ETG’s official response to this second set of questions is respectfully requested and will be most welcome.
[The next sets of questions assume that ETG does not accept the legal validity of the aforementioned letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol and the letter from Governor Anefal to Chairman Hong. If ETG accepts their validity and wishes to honor the provisions/commands of those letters by terminating its proposed Project in Yap, then please state so, Mr. Yang. If you so state, then there is no need for you to answer the following questions, which assume that ETG wishes to continue its proposed Project in Yap despite the aforementioned letters from the Dalip pi Nguchol and Governor Anefal. If you respond to the following questions without responding to the first two sets of questions above, I will assume that ETG disregards/disputes the legal validity of the two aforementioned letters, at least to the extent that those letters legally prohibit ETG from carrying out its proposed Project in Yap.]
3) Mr, Yang, I noticed in the Yap ETG Paradise Islands International Investment Group Inc. Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/etgyap) that you, as ETG’s representative in Yap, recently sent a formal letter to the “Leaders” of the Concerned Citizens Group and the Yap Awareness Project requesting separate face-to-face meetings to discuss ETG’s proposed Project in Yap. (See letter here: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=449749905071152&set=a.423723697673773.90740.420893747956768&type=1) In light of your embrace of open communication and transparency, will you be willing to allow the live broadcast of the meetings so that members of the general Yapese public who cannot attend the meetings can nevertheless listen in and perhaps call in their questions? This assumes that the Concerned Citizens Group and/or the Yap Awareness Project agree to meet you and agree to such live broadcasts.
With those assumptions in mind, I respectfully request and welcome ETG’s official response to this third set of questions.
4) It has been stated on the aforementioned Yap ETG Paradise Islands Facebook page that ETG will not submit a Master Plan to the State of Yap for review unless and until ETG leases sufficient land from private Yapese landowners. (The statement is here: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/449349971777812?comment_id=4808403&offset=0&total_comments=28) I assume that you or someone equally authorized by ETG made that statement, Mr. Yang. Some private Yapese landowners who might be willing to lease their land to ETG are apparently quite hesitant to lease their land unless and until they see ETG’s Master Plan, or at least have a solid understanding of what ETG actually plans to construct as part of its proposed Project in Yap. Initially, I thought that the various promotional brochures that ETG passed out in Yap over the last year were sufficient to indicate the extent of ETG’s proposed Project, but you have repeatedly insisted that those brochures are not truly representative of ETG’s proposed Project. However, you have also stated in this Group (here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/404462399564440/permalink/505496522794360/?comment_id=505838756093470&offset=0&total_comments=44) that ETG is looking at constructing “1 or 2 golf course[s]” in Yap, so I assume that that means that ETG has at least some concrete idea of what it wants to build in Yap. In the interest of transparency, as well as in the interest of assuaging the concerns of private Yapese landowners, is ETG willing to share those concrete ideas here, as well as with private Yapese landowners who may be willing to lease land to ETG? If not, then why not?
I respectfully request and welcome ETG’s official response to this fourth set of questions.
5) It has been stated on the aforementioned Yap ETG Paradise Islands Facebook page that private Yapese landowners should seek legal assistance if they wish to enter into land lease agreements with ETG. (The statement is here: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/449349971777812?comment_id=4808721&offset=0&total_comments=28) I assume that you or someone equally authorized by ETG made that statement, Mr. Yang. In light of that statement, and in the interest of assisting private Yapese landowners who may wish to lease their land to ETG, is ETG willing to disclose the template for possible land lease agreements that ETG will enter into with private Yapese landowners? In other words, does ETG have a basic land lease form that it wishes private Yapese landowners to use—including basic/commonplace lease terms—and if so, is ETG willing to share that form publicly? Since ETG has admitted (here: http://www.facebook.com/etgyap/posts/449349971777812?comment_id=4808403&offset=0&total_comments=28) that it “ha[s]n’t signed any land lease agreement yet,” such a form would not necessarily be confidential, being a template and not a finalized land lease agreement between private parties. Is ETG willing to share such a template with this Group, assuming that it exists?
ETG’s official response to this fifth set of questions is respectfully requested and will be most welcome.
Mr. Yang, I ask all of these questions in the interests of clarity and open communication, which I believe (judging from your comments on FB) are goals that ETG (through you as its official representative) officially espouses. Those questions also relate to many important legal matters in which I have taken an interest throughout my participation in this group’s discussions. I respectfully request your public responses to those questions, as well as to other questions posed in this thread.
Mr. Yang, I know that you have expressed your preference that any questions about ETG should be directed to you by e-mail, phone call, or posts on the Yap ETG Paradise Islands Facebook page. However, I note that the aforementioned Facebook page has blocked legitimate comments from certain posters (such as Mr. Henry K.O. Norman and Mr. Tim Rock), which to me does not signal the sort of transparency and openness that you and ETG have espoused. Therefore, I do not wish to post in that Facebook page. Furthermore, private phone calls and private emails do not help the cause of open communication and transparency. There has been much confusion and misinformation regarding ETG, and they stem in large part from a lack of open and transparent communication regarding ETG’s proposed Project in Yap. In Yapese culture, when there is a matter of serious public/communal importance, we are supposed to talk about it in public—i.e., mangil ni nge puruy e girdii nge binaw u fithik e tamilang. We do not confine our discussions to private exchanges and to fora where legitimate comments are blocked. Therefore, I will not accept any replies from you via email or phone. I hope you understand my preference.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration, Mr. Yang, as well as for your participation in this group’s discussions. Have a good day.
[On November 2, Mr. Clement Yow Mulalap added the following supplement.]
Mr. Yang, please permit me to supplement my post with the following comment:
Regarding the first set of questions and issues presented to you above, Mr. Yang, I wish to point out that in Part II of the signed Investment Agreement between ETG and the State of Yap, ETG agrees that “ETG . . . shall take all actions necessary, including complying with the requirements of State . . . Laws, to ensure that the local culture [and] tradition . . . shall be preserved during the whole term of this project.” Also, in Section 3.1 of the signed Agreement, ETG is afforded “the right to develop the Project in accordance with Law.” Also, according to Section 8.1 of the signed Agreement, the “Agreement shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with and shall be given effect under applicable Laws of . . . Yap State.” Finally, I believe that one of the requirements for holding a Yap State Foreign Investment Permit and a Yap State Business License is the continued compliance with the laws and regulations of Yap State by the holder of those documents.
In light of the clear requirements for ETG to comply with the laws of Yap State (including, but not limited to, those laws that “ensure that the local culture [and] tradition [of Yap] shall be preserved”), and in light of the fact that Article III, Section 1 of the Yap State Constitution confers the aforementioned constitutional authority to the Dalip pi Nguchol to perform the action that they did in their September 17, 2012 letter to the Anefal Administration and to ETG (via Chairman Deng Hong), what is ETG’s official position regarding the letter from the Dalip pi Nguchol? If ETG continues to remain silent about the letter, then does that mean that ETG violates Yap State laws by continuing to pursue its proposed Project in Yap despite the prohibition issued by the Dalip pi Nguchol?
I respectfully request and welcome ETG’s official response in this matter. Thank you very much.